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tv   [untitled]    September 5, 2010 12:00pm-12:30pm PST

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students after school, we could potentially see an increase in violence in our streets. and that violence will most definitely affect the businesses here. securing our programs and neighborhoods will increase a sense of safety, security and a stronger sense of community in san francisco. san francisco has a reputation for setting cultural trends, and we all saw what happened with same-sex marriages. although politically challenging, countries across the globe are honoring the equality of institution -- of the institution of marriage. why not honor our residents, our youth, our future by passing this fee and improve the quality of services that contributes to the device of neighbors and begin holding big alcohol accountable for the kind of profits that they reap? let's inspire and inspire cities like oakland and san diego, other counties, our states, everywhere across this country to do the same. thank you very much. supervisor avalos: thank you.
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next speaker, please. >> good morning, supervisors. my name is guy carson. i'm the co-owner of the cafe de norte on market street. also a founding person of the cultural association. i think most of my speech have been well covered by my colleagues. i'd just like to, i guess at this point, address supervisor mirkairmi's statement about the accumulative effect of all these charges. we purchase the cafe kell nort -- del norte in 2003 and since then suffered a success of well-intended fees and legislation passed on that have directly impacted our bottom line. i think what you're hearing here today is from the small business owners is that we are at our threshold. we have laid off, we have cut
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back. we have taken no salaries on our own parts. we have borrowed to our maximum limit. and what the great agri gations of numbers -- aggregations of numbers don't show is that we're going down. it's not so much this particular fee is that the patterns of fees. we, small business owners, just cannot take any more. we, california music and culture association, last week or two weeks ago now, had a city insider lunchon from the state board of equalization. her assessment for the finances of the state of california for the next five years were bleak, were very, very bleak, and it occurred to me and all of us there that if this is true, we all have to get together and come up with new sources of income instead of taxing your own revenue sources out of business entirely. thanks it. thanks.
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supervisor avalos: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is james robinson. my wife and i own a small wine shop here in the city. and we talked today about the targeting of big alcohol, but i think in reality the trickle down is going to hurt everyone in the chain below, big alcohol. we talked about price sensitivity today. three cents, five cents per glass. it doesn't sound like much but the true cost will realistically be much, much higher under the current three-tier alcohol distribution system. we talked about the impact on new payroll which could lead to further job losses here in the city. and i truly believe we need to do everything we can to stimulate job creations. the end result it seems that we would be steering business away from san francisco metro area. and we've got too many empty storefronts already that have gone dark.
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so i respectfully urge you to vote no on this new tax. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is richard donahue. i own two liquor licenses in san francisco. born and raised here for 57 years and i've got 40 years of bar ownership or management. i came on short notice. i don't have slides, graphs, powerpoint presentations, but i can positively tell you of the five cents of tax issue per beverage that has been brought upon us over the last 40 years, it has never occurred on a federal level or a state level that the five cent per beverage remains after it's been distributed through. so this does positively come anywhere from 25 cents to 50 cents per unit per beverage when this is all multiplied out. on top of all the business tax and everything else as any small business in san francisco, i urge you to vote no on that. one other thing i'd like you to
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know which has been mentioned, if you go through bars, cafes, pizza parlors, large and small restaurants, retail stores, liquor stores, wine stores, sporting venues and hotels, it's approximately 100 pages of the yellow page correctly. all of these customers will be affected by these tax increases. in addition to that, all of the above-mentioned groups directly support charities, contributions, nonprofit, including school spirit programs, little league clubs, pee-wee soccer clubs, parents clubs, first tee youth camps, breast cancer awareness foundations, lung association golf tournament sponsorships, fire department toy programs, burn center fundraisers and many individual family emergencies that do not have any tax i.d. status. please vote no on this issue. the small businesses do not need another burden. thank you. supervisor avalos: thank you.
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next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is collie chung. i want to speak to this litigation. more often than not, the youth we work have have been victim or witnessed the dangers of drug abuse, domestic violence, other personal tragedies as well as being targeted by the alcohol industry. despite their hardships, our youth wants to take action to reduce the negative messages of and easy access to alcohol. whether partnering with local stone otherers to sad -- storeowners. every day our youth are challenged by an imbalance of power when trying to make positive social change. so in part of our work to ensure that youth have a voice and a say in what issues impact them and the neighborhoods. despite a tough economy, san
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francisco continues to thrive and this fee is a reasonable and simple way for our government, our services, our community to come together and respectfully continue to prevent and treat alcohol problems. thank you. supervisor avalos: thank you for your comments. next speaker, please, and before you speak i'll read three more cards. siacro, john kelly, joshua puner, tom colter, debbie learnman. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is for rest fwray. i own the speak easy brewry. i've been operating in san francisco and the hunters point area for a little over 13 years. we have fewer than 35 employees, however, we do provide health care. we don't have to but we do because it's the right thing. window everything we possibly can to be a good citizen and a good business owner in san francisco, and we want this city to be the best it can be. we are very concerned about the tax. it's one more nail in the coffin for us that we're --
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we're just concerned about the general outcome of this and the fact that it hasn't been thought through well enough. we're -- there's certain several points which have been covered. if you -- i do want to come back to the trader joe drop shipment. if it's dropped in another county and transferred store to store would not be subject to the legislation as it's written. but really more to the point, i think what i've been hearing now, i've been here in two different hearings, it's two different conversations here. we don't disagree at all with the fact that there are people that need help. and we want to help them. what we're fearing here is that we're killing the goose that lays the golden egg and that we are what provides income to this city. and if the income isn't here then we can't do anything. and, you know this is just a matter of balancing a checkbook and we encourage you to think about the outcome of what's going to happen to small businesses as a result of this. please, i encourage you to vote no on this and not allow you to
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leave the budget committee. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm the general manager of a large bar and i came a bit unprepared. besides all the points that my fellow businessmen brought forward, i have three things to question about the economists of the city said. i doubt that the elastiesity of the price alcohol is as flexible as you think. it is not gas. the second thing you kept talking about the private sector versus the public sector. as far as i understand the private sector being the government and city hall and public jobs and so forth so you say it's not for that because the private sector, which is corporate and private businesses, us, might only lose about, i heard a number of 50
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jobs and so party, will these people be able to get jobs at city hall, then? it doesn't seem possible to me. and then the last thing was that i don't really get what this whole fee is for. as my fellow people said, some are killing the goose that's laying the eggs. that's all i wanted to bring forward for you to think about. supervisor avalos: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is joshua. i'm with the youth leadership institute and i'm also part of the program from the youth leadership institute. i'm here again today to say a few words on why this fee will be beneficial to the youth. it's known that the youth are the most influenced in the community by the messages they
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say. and, therefore, they are the most vulnerable. this fee will help fund some services that the youth need, such as prevention services and other youth organizations. i'd also like to add that it's a known fact that at least 10% of profits are made by underaged drinking. and, therefore, since youth are the most price sensitive, this will hopefully reduce that number. and i'd like to add on a more personal note, as someone who is native to this city, i know that there are millions of people who love the city as much as i do and there will be -- there will continue to be business in this city. i mean, if people are willing to pay for like a $5 pretzel at
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fisherman's wharf, i'm pretty confident that people will spend a few more cents per drink. thank you. supervisor avalos: thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> hello, supervisors. my name is ficro. i'm co-owner at a bar in north beach. as much as both sides can argue the merits of their argument, i think the biggest question of all is, is this legal? is it constitutional? and that's the question we should be asking ourselves. and if the city is so broke, how do they got the money to impose this fee afterwards? and listening to the proponents of the fee, they present this that alcohol is not already paying tax. as we are, as small business owners point out here, we pay city tax, we pay city fees already. we pay state tax and there's federal tax on alcohol already.
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and this money is already being used to fund these services for which we're trying to be -- which the city is trying to tax us once again. and it goes to the same old argument. is it legal? i don't think it is. it's a tax on many to support few. and i think the city might be better. looking at how they can enforce drunken behavior on the streets, people staying on the streets, the serving of alcohol to known drunks and people who are drunk and maybe some of these people can be put up in the 1,400 empty spaces of city hall to take care of these people. that's my argument. thank you. >> thank you, supervisors. my name is mark wilson. i own two bars in san francisco.
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it's just been tough. one in ash burry and one in castro -- ashbury and one in castro. my fees are sky high. i am just opposed to it. i don't want to lay off anybody. i have to work more and more. it just gets tougher and tougher. if you can find another way it would be wonderful. thank you. >> hello. my name is john kelly. i was born in this great city, and i'm a political liberal. however, over the years i've turned into a fiscal conservative because government too often misuses taxpayer dollars. however, there are some services government must provide, and i am fully supportive of the alcohol mitigation fee for two -- three reasons. the revenue must be spent on
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the health cost to our city services caused by the alcohol problem. second, the revenues will come from the people who consume the product that caused the alcohol problem. third, among the city services, supported by the alcohol fee, will be substance abuse treatment programs. in a 1994 report by the california department of alcohol and drug programs concluded that for every $1 spent on substance abuse treatment programs $7 is saved in taxpayer costs. we need more substance abuse treatment programs and an end to the waiting lines to get into these programs. lastly, i want to make a pitch for alcoholism prevention. research shows that more than 40% of youth who start drinking before age 15 develop alcohol dependence. please establish programs to
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effectively discriminate -- excuse me -- to effectively discourage teenage drinking. and on this last point, i have a flyer that i'd like to pass out to you, supervisors. and thank you for your time. supervisor avalos: next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. my name is tom and i'm an alcoholic. i have been coming up on four years. i had four months of treatment in rehab that i paid for myself because my insurance didn't. i've owned three bars in san francisco. i currently own glen park station. and i think you placing the blame on a lot of us. i've been reading in the paper about the cost of ambulance, you know, alcohol-related ambulances. you ask any of the people that have spoken here how many times
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have they called an ambulance for one of their customers. i've seen restaurants where they had to call an ambulance. i'd say out of 10 times an older person having a heart attack or some other physical problem. i think the problem lies with the city of san francisco, and your very l.a.x. -- in front of -- well, next door to me is a taceria. there has been this pan handler for the last three, four years. i see cops walk by and call him by name and say, how are you doing? when can we get these people off the street? i think there's, you know, some kind of laws against panhandlings. we don't want to fill our jails with a bunch of homeless people.
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they're overcrowded. why not set up the shelters and detain these people where they have to follow rules and regulations? an article in the paper just the other day about a fellow that said, i don't like to go into the shelter. they don't let me smoke. they make me go to bed too early. well, sorry. there's a cause an and effect to everything. you're making it easy for these people to cause the problems. the bars, restaurants, aren't. ok. thank you very much. supervisor avalos: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. debbie from the san francisco human services network. we support the alcohol mitigation fee. a few years ago voters in san francisco approved treatment on demand, but it's never been implemented. there has never been sufficient funds to implement it and every year when we come here at budget time substance abuse services are always the first to be cut primarily because of the lack of any federal or
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state leveraged funds. so we need to do what we can locally to support those services. and we know that it doesn't show up in the economists' report that the money we invest in substance abuse prevention and treatment will save us tremendous amounts in the long run because of the other costs of getting people off the street are repeatedly put in the e.r. this makes complete fiscal sense for the city of san francisco. we have tremendous respect for the small businesses and the vibrant nightlife that we have in this city. but a few cents a drink is not enough to keep people away from having a good time at night. and $18 million is a tremendous amount of money to support the services that we need. regardless of how you feel about mechanisms to bring in revenue, whether it's a fee or a tax, whether they're too high or too low, i think most of us agree on one fundamental thing, that they should be fair. these costs are already borne
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by the taxpayers in one way or another and this is really about who's paying them. given the cost the taxpayers from the excessive use or abuse of alcohol, it is fundamentally fair that those costs be borne by those who are responsible for them. in other words, the producers and the retailers who profit directly from the manufacturing and sale and ultimately the consumers, all of us who pay a few cents to ensure that the costs are borne ultimately by those who are creating the problem. thank you. supervisor avalos: thank you. next speaker, please. i have one more card. anyone else who would like to speak, please line up as well. selena and anyone else who would like to comment on this item can please come forward. next speaker. >> mr. wright, i spoke last week on this issue and i demonstrated i have 50% towards initiative, 50% against. i understand how the people who
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are impacted on how their loss of income will be decreased, and i see the way they feel, the way they do but the issue at hand weighs more than the problem that you're suffering. on the grounds that alcohol is contributing into millions of dollars in taxpayers' money being spent on people who abuse and get sick and have to go to the hospital and use numerous services by the city pertained by the fire department, the police and the doctors at san francisco general hospital. this is a historical moment where the cost of the injury must be shared by the people who are online and handing out the alcohol to the people who need the services. to begin with, you're not the only people who are responsible. this is a historical moment that started out at the tail end of the alcohol chain of the people who were passing out the alcohol to the people who need
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the services. starting off in the city and county and eventually is going to end up in the state and senate, board of organization and i believe that the brewries, the manufacturers who are making multibillion collars profit on alcohol, the production where the distillation columns used to produce this alcohol should also share the cost as far as overall states of the united states of america is concerned. but starting off here at the city and county of san francisco. the people talking about they need to have the city attorney look into this. if the city attorney looks into it and incorporates state law pertaining to the section of law that's called contributary negligence where you're not actually intentionally causing harm but yet your alcohol is the reason and main factor on the reason of the problem you could be charged 50% of the services that's being paid. that's called contributary negligence. you're actually contributing to
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the problem. supervisor avalos: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. i was watching this on the monitor last week and the discussion about mandatory, you know, mitigation and what have you. after that we know we have a problem getting taxes into the city. my concern is the fact that i don't think enough companies are being taxed to help our city because last friday on the news, it was friday night on channel 2, and i've been to some of your offices to give you the news clipping that i received, the mercury news, never san francisco news, there was a press conference this morning at 10:00.
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they're going to have 50 trucks coming into san francisco on a daily basis for the next three years. and i think you should be able to tax them axle of $1 and you will get more than what you're asking for today with the people that you are trying to get the taxes from. and i think it's no more fair that people from the outside be taxed coming into our city breaking up the streets and everything in our cities and looking at how much money you will be able to receive if you think about this and make this part of your project that is coming up dealing with taxes. because the big corporations are not being taxed. had is one. -- this is one. thank you very much. supervisor avalos: thank you, ms. jackson.
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next speaker, please. >> hi. good afternoon. my name is selena and i work for an organization called horizons, unlimited. i know as we hear these arguments, the biggest question is, will san francisco continue to thrive? will businesses stay here? will they continue their payroll? will they continue their services? the yes is yes. people will still patronize small businesses. i think businesses will be able to reap properties. -- profits. as a prevention provider, we're spending a lot of time looking at cost improvement strategies for providing these prevention services. we're looking at evidence-based practices that we feel will be strong motivators for families to continue to thrive within the community. and speaking on behalf of a lot of families and a lot of youth, there is a lot of support for this bill out here. whether or not families can leave work and come and provide public comment and testimony,
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we speak on a lot of youth and families against, i believe that the families will continue to support local businesses. but this is money that's desperately needed. there is not enough money in these budgets for us to provide based on the demand for these youth that need these types of services. so we want you to look at it carefully. understand that we're doing our part to provide these services. and with a little bit more help we'll be able to provide a lot more needed and vital services to the youth and families in our community. thank you. >> good afternoon. my name is charles mcintyre. i'm here once again. i represent the 2700 union glass workers here in the city of san francisco. i work in a glass plant myself. and not only are you talking about losing the retail jobs.
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you're also going to be hitting the jobs in our industry. the majority of the glass that we make is for the alcohol industry. a lot is for the small wineries, the small brewers. they take a hit. one of the first things they do is they look for different container types or look for another place for their containers. right now one of the main places they're going is china and mexico. we're looking at approximately -- it could be as much as 300 jobs in this industry. last year alone we've lost over 500 jobs because of this economy. and what that also affects is these jobs are manufacturing jobs. you know, with good benefits, but they're green jobs. when we make the glass containers, these containers go recycled and they go through our furnaces and it's one of the greenest containers there is. it's in the earth. it goes back to the ground. when we start losing these jobs we stop losing the ability to
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recycle these containers. not only are we hurting jobs, we are going backwards as far as the city wanting to be green and the state wanting to be green. as far as the greenhouse emissions, the more recycled glass we use, it lowers emissions and helps the environment. so when you look at the umbrella of what this fee can do, it can run like a wildfire and we could really devastate these jobs and this industry. thank you very much. supervisor avalos: thank you. are there any other members of the public who i'd like to -- who'd like to comment on this item? please come forward. >> good afternoon. michael from marine institute. i just wanted to thank superavalos and -- supervisor avalos and the co-sponsors of this ordinance in acknowledging that san francisco is suffering an epidemic of alcohol-related harm and that to establish a
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dedicated funding source that will treat and provide prevention services is a noble and excellent public health solution. thank you. supervisor avalos: thank you very much. and seeing no other member of the public here we will close public comment. i want to thank everyone for coming here today and last week as well. your comments here about this item. a lot of folks from bars i know well and love, from the connecticut yankee and bottom of the hill, slims, american music hall, this is not about me coming from a temp rant society. this is about how we can maintain a level of service here in san francisco for our great needs around alcohol prevention and treatment. and it's a -- alcohol'sa


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